Gustav Holst | Compositions, The Music of Holst

(1899) Walt Whitman Op. 7

The Walk Whitman Overture was written as a tribute to Whitman. Holst read much of Whitman's writings while involved in William Morris' socialist movement in the late 1890s. He was entranced, like so many other British composers, by Whitman's ideas of beauty.

As much of Holst's earlier work, the overture is very Germanic, mimicking the style of Wagner and Mendelssohn. However, it is a significant piece for it exemplifies Holst's craftsmanship in this idiom.